Autumn’s amazing display

Two months ago, around the end of September, I wondered if we were going to witness the glorious Autumn colors that we have seen in other years. If the amount of light and rainfall has been just right, the display will be eye-popping. This year didn’t start out looking so promising, but it gradually turned breathtakingly beautiful. As an example, here are four photos of the gingko tree in Holden Arboretum, taken on three different dates:

 

 

This sugar maple tree is another example of stunning beauty. On October 12th (top picture), it was displaying some promise, but I was worried that it was peaking and this would be “as good as it gets” for this year.

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However, when I returned to the Arboretum 10 days later, I was greeted by this sight, and it made my heart sing.

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This is why Fall is my favorite season, and it is a reminder of how blessed I am to be able to take trail walks, especially during Autumn.

Thanks for joining me on the trail today!
Trail Walker

Autumn is advancing: November 11, 2015

The pictures on this gallery demonstrate how quickly Autumn is advancing. Sadly, the brilliant fall colors are losing their luster. Winter is coming, but that doesn’t mean trail walking is over for the year. As long as you dress for it, you can still enjoy being outdoors, so get out your winter garb because we are going to need it soon.

See you soon!
Trail Walker

A Fabulous Friday Face and more fall photos

Gail Broughton-November 5, 2015
Gail Broughton-Friday, November 5, 2015

Let’s start with the Fabulous Friday Face. I was snapping photos in the Rhododendron Garden when Gail came down the trail. “She would be a great Friday Face,” I thought to myself, and I was right. We were both enjoying a walk in the Arboretum on one of those rare November days that you wish would last all winter, when I stopped Gail and asked her to pose for a photo opp. I explained about my Friday Faces project, and we chatted about the fantastic weather and the joy of trail walking in the Arboretum. Gail told me she was once an inveterate backpacker, but gave it up a few years ago. She confided, “When I turned 76.” Everyone should look so great and be so active when they are approaching octogenarian status. Backpacking is obviously a very healthy habit. Thanks, Gail, for taking the time to pose for my camera. You can read more about my Fabulous Friday Faces project HERE in my SmugMug gallery. Click on the gallery below to enjoy a few of the sights we saw in the Arboretum on this wonderful very-unlike-November-day.

That’s it for tonight’s post, friends. I’ve run out of time and energy. Tomorrow I will post the third part of this series of Fall Trail Walks. I hope to see you then.

Trail Walker

Fabulous Friday Face: Bob

Bob: A fabulous Friday Face
Bob: October 22, 2015

I encountered this week’s Fabulous Friday Face when I made my fourth climb to the top of the Emergent Tower at Holden Arboretum on Thursday. I should have posted it on Friday, so I am a day late. Where does the time go anyway? There’s always a volunteer on duty at the top of the Tower, and that’s where Bob was stationed this week. In our very short conversation, he listed four or five states where he has lived. Didn’t like Florida, not at all, but apparently would move back to Colorado at the drop of a pin. He would move there, if he only could, with his deceased wife. Then he would be living in his favorite place with the love of his life. Meanwhile, he is living in Ohio and  doing a terrific job of volunteering at the Arboretum, chatting up the visitors and taking photos of people who hand over their cameras to record the memorable moment. Well done, Bob. And thanks for being my Fabulous Friday Face.

Headlands Dunes State Nature Preserve

Hello fellow trail walkers. Are you up for a visit to a unique place today? I hope so because I’m heading for Headlands Dunes State Nature Preserve, and I’m inviting you to tag along. It’s not really cold today, but a heavy sweater or jacket would be a good idea because we’re going to the beach, and the wind will be strong.

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Our destination, Headlands Dunes State Nature Preserve, is located on the Lake Erie shoreline just to the east of Headlands Beach State Park, a popular summer recreational  area. The dunes are unique because of their geological history, the plants that grow here, and the variety of birds and other wildlife that live here.

Because of its location, the Dunes area is also a stopping off place for birds and monarch butterflies during spring and fall migrations. For that reason, it’s a popular destination for birders. Although the fall migration will soon come to an end, I still encountered a few visitors with binoculars and spotting scopes on the trail today.

2015_10_15_Headlands Dunes_170I stopped to ask this group with the binoculars and scope if I could take their picture. One of them asked if this was “my park,” and I replied that I am only an occasional visitor, and that I usually go to Holden Arboretum. One of the women exclaimed, “Oh, the Arboretum. We have to go there and see that Tower.”

“You better go soon; the Tower will close for the season on November 1,” I told them; then I headed on down the trail while they went back to their binoculars. Maybe I’ll run into them the next time I visit the Arboretum, which will have to be soon because this change in weather is going to bring out the fall colors, and they may even peak next week.

Our stepping off point for today’s walk is right here at this “rock,” marking the northern terminus of the Buckeye Trail. But more about that later. Let’s head for the beach now. I’ll stop talking to give you time to enjoy the landscape and the lake.

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As we walk, let’s go single file. stay on the path, and heed that warning sign.

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The lighthouse marks the end of the breakwall. Because this is a commercial port, serving shipping vessels as well as pleasure boats, the Coast Guard maintains a station and patrols these waters, but they no longer use the lighthouse. A few years ago, it was decommissioned and eventually sold to a woman who is renovating it for a summer home, a pretty arduous task because the only access is by boat, unless you would walk out there carrying all the construction materials. If you look closely at the pictures, you will see that walking on the breakwall is at best a tricky proposition. At this point, I have minimal information on the port or the renovation project, so those will be topics for future blog posts, after I’ve done more research. Right now, we’re going to walk over to the breakwall, so you can give that part of the trail a closer inspection:

Walking back to the parking lot, I paused for a brief conversation with a delightful woman who was taking advantage of the pleasant weather to do a bit of bird watching. She will be the focus of this week’s Fabulous Friday Faces feature, so I won’t say more here except that it was an encounter I enjoyed. We’ve reached the end of the trail, but there is one more thing I want to mention. That sign over there, just by the “rock” where we began our walk, provides a bit of information about the Buckeye Trail, which is marked by blue blazes on the trunks of trees.

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Part of our walk today was on the trail, so I hope you will take time to read the information on the sign. Maybe I will do a future blog post on the trail. It would be an interesting one.

Thanks for joining me on the trail today. It’s been great to have you along.
Trail Walker

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For a few hours this afternoon I set aside the urgency of updating my blog before the blogging 201 class ends, and took a short photo walk at Lake Erie Bluffs to capture a few pictures of the beautiful fall day. I’m glad I did. There aren’t many days more beautiful than this one.

Trail Walker

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